PAKISTANI PROPAGANDA ACCUSES INDIA OF RUNNING A CELL TO SABOTAGE CPEC

The article originally appeared on India Today. 

Pakistan has long been accusing India of trying to sabotage the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Top Pakistani politicians and army generals have been blaming India for staging attacks in Pakistan through its external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Obviously, all this has been without proof.

But now the Pakistani propaganda has gone a step ahead by incorporating figures like when India founded this so called anti-CPEC cell and how much fund was allocated to it. General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee of Pakistan, while addressing an event in Islamabad today, charged India of running a cell to disrupt the CPEC.

“RAW established a new cell with a special allocation of over $500 million in 2015 to sabotage CPEC projects in Pakistan,” a Dawn report quoted him saying. While addressing an event in Islamabad, he further said, “India’s indirect interference in Pakistan is manifested in sponsoring Tehreek-i-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP), Baloch and other sub-nationalist outfits and many other terrorist groups.”

Now the world can see through such baseless allegations coming from a country that is seen as a safe haven for terrorists and is increasingly becoming isolated in the world for this very reason, especially when it is against India, the world’s largest democracy, a growing global power, both economically as well as militarily and a responsible geopolitical entity.

It is Pakistan, in fact, that has been giving shelter to India’s and the world’s most wanted like Lashkar-e-Taiba’s Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Masood Azhar, Dawood Ibrahim and is main terror exporter to India, a fact that major world powers including the US and UK have started accepting. How can the world forget that Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was in hiding in Pakistan for years before he was hunted down and killed? How can Pakistan convince the world that it is not home to the Taliban and Al Qaeda factions and the Haqqani Network?

While the ruling Pakistani elite have been brazenly lying about establishing peace in their country and browbeating their propaganda to the world to tell that they have wiped out every terror outfit, the fact is, this year alone, over 450 civilians and around 200 security forces personnel have lost their lives in over 100 incidents in the country, data from South Asia Terrorism Portal shows.

WHY INDIA IS OPPOSED TO THE CPEC

China’s One Belt One Road initiative aims to de velop economic corridors in Asia, Africa and Europe, something that India is opposed to as one of such corridors, the CPEC. India is opposed to CPEC because a part of it passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir that is legally India’s. For strategic reasons also, India doesn’t welcome a Chinese presence just across the border in a disputed territory that India considers its own.

CPEC, AN INTERNAL SECURITY NIGHTMARE FOR PAKISTAN

Pakistan sees the CPEC, a long term $75 billion project from Gwadar port in Balochistan to Kashgar China’s Xinjiang province, as the next big thing in the nation’s history that will transform it into of hub and economic activity in this part of Asia.

But the fact is, it passes through many restive regions of Pakistan including Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) and Balochistan and terrorists groups that are hostile to China, including TTP and Al Qaeda, have threatened to attack Chinese investments in the corridor to avenge the so-called atrocities against Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Then there are ethnic people of areas the CPEC passes through who are opposed to it. A combine of religious groups in Gilgit Baltistan has demanded the complete removal of Pakistan’s Army from its soil.

Baloch people, who are fighting the Pakistani establishment for their freedom and have long been accusing Pakistan of exploiting their province, see the CPEC as yet another tool to exploit the Baloch people. Baloch nationalists blame Pakistan for forcefully acceding their province. Pakistani security forces are alleged to have killed thousands of Baloch people. Reports of rape, torture and disappearances are common. Baloch people say they are ethnically different from Pakistanis and are demanding freedom or autonomy to decide their own affairs.

How bad is the security scenario in the CPEC regions also reflects in the fact that Pakistan has raised a Special Security Division (SSD) of 15000 soldiers to protect some 7000 Chinese individuals and CPEC installations that are coming up. This is when the project has just begun. The CPEC was proposed in 2013 and an agreement between Pakistan and China was signed in May 2013.

©SantoshChaubey

UNGA: PAKISTANI PROPAGANDA HAS A TOUGH JOB THESE DAYS

The article originally appeared on India Today.

The 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly is in progress in New York and the Pakistani delegation here has some tough job on its hand to do, obviously including the routine anti-India propaganda.

So the prime minister of Pakistan is busy spewing venom against India in New York where he is leading his country’s delegation to the UNGA while ministers and senior officials of his government back home in Islamabad are complementing his efforts.

And their efforts are based on negating two highly hostile perceptions about Pakistan, especially with the Donald Trump presidency in America – one, that it is a safe terror haven and the other, that trusting Pakistan in Afghanistan affairs have been counter-productive and it is better to go with India.

So, Pakistan’s prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is busy telling the world community and more importantly to the US that how India is an existential threat for Pakistan and it is rather a terror victim with an impressive track record in fighting and eliminating terrorists and the US declaring it a safe haven for terrorists is unjustified, even if he wasn’t given a chance to have one-on-one meeting with Donald Trump.

The fact is, Trump has not met a Pakistani prime minister, be it Abbasi or his predecessor Nawaz Sharif, so far in his presidency and it is a telling sign that Pakistan has lost its credibility in Washington.

Like Nawaz Sharif was humiliated at the US-Arab-Islamic Summit in Riyadh in May this year, Donald Trump’s first major interaction with the Muslim nations of the world, this time, too, the Pakistani prime minister met the same fate. Reportedly, Trump refused to meet Abbasi as ‘he was too busy’.

Abbasi then had to settle down on a meeting with US Vice-President Mike Pence where, as per Pakistani claims, the two sides agreed to remain engaged “to achieve shared objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region.” Also, Abbasi told yesterday, in another boastful claim, that Trump thought positively on Pakistan’s role in the war against terror, refuting claims of downward spiral in US-Pakistan ties.

While the truth is, the US is disappointed and angry over Pakistan’s double-dealings, the country that has been a major recipient of US financial aid, over $15 billion in just last five years. While unveiling his government’s Afghanistan centric South Asia policy last month, Trump had slammed Pakistan and had warned that the US would no longer be silent about Pakistan’s double-dealings and had demanded that Pakistan’s attitude of doublespeak had to change immediately.

Abbasi, reportedly, also complained to the US, in fact, in his meeting with Mike Pence about US policy change on Afghanistan which seeks greater Indian role in Afghanistan rebuilding process, something that Pakistan believes is hostile to its interests in the region. And today, he went on to say that Pakistan sees ‘zero role for India in Afghanistan and will never accept India politically or militarily engaged in Afghanistan’.

Repeating Pakistan’s rant on Kashmir, an integral part of India where Pakistan is fuelling terror and separatism, that India is suppressing the freedom struggle of the Kashmiris, Abbasi, after a long time, again took the line that Pakistan has developed tactical nuclear weapons to take on the Indian threat. Pakistan had left the practice of issuing hollow nuclear threats to India after the surgical strike last September in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir that left Pakistan’s ruling elite humiliated and divided.

Back in Pakistan, its ministers and officers are busy extending helping hands to their prime minister.

Its Foreign Office is repeating the routine Pakistani propaganda that “India is involved in funding terrorism in Pakistan” with a new vigour. Apart from blaming India for fomenting terror in its provinces including the restive Balochistan province, Pakistan is also blaming India to fund the anti-Pakistan campaign by Baloch activists in Geneva while the reality is the world community has now started accepting Pakistan’s atrocities in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

The country is also taking on other countries like Japan that endorse the Indian viewpoint that Pakistan is a terror sponsor nation. The Indo-Japan joint statement last week during Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s India visit had denounced Pakistan as a country harbouring terrorists.

Yesterday, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan accused India of trying to sabotage the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a $50 Billion Chinese investment that passes through Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, legally an Indian territory. The same minister had last week boasted that it was not Pakistan’s job to satisfy the US. And only a week later, the Pakistani prime minister is trying to woo the US administration in the US.

©SantoshChaubey

US KEEPING PAKISTAN ON SAFE HAVEN OF TERRORISTS LIST IS EXTENSION OF MODI-TRUMP’S JOINT STATEMENT

The article originally appeared on India Today.

For the first time, the US has directly termed Pakistan a safe haven for terrorists in its annual ‘Country Reports on Terrorism’ released by the US State Department. The report analysing terror activities in 2016 says various terrorist groups including Afghan Taliban, Haqqani Network, LeT and JeM continue to operate from Pakistan-based safe havens.

The line taken by the US in its annual authoritative report, a first, is a clear extension from the joint statement issued after the summit between US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the latter’s US visit in June this year.

In the joint statement, Modi and Trump had asserted that the terrorist safe havens should be rooted out from every part of the world. The joint statement mentioned Pakistan thrice and called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory isn’t used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries, and to “expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups.”

When seen in comparison to Modi-Obama joint statements, it was a clear departure.

The three joint statements after Modi-Obama summits in September 2014, January 2015 and June 2016 mentioned routine themes like expediting trials in the Mumbai and Pathankot attacks and cracking down on terror outfits including Al-Qaeda, ISIS, JeM, LeT, they stopped short of calling these terror groups as even Pakistan-based, let along calling Pakistan directly a safe haven for terrorists, even if Pakistan indeed is a terror state.

The optics that was missing due to diplomatic hesitations got its first clear shot that hesitations were going away in Modi-Trump joint statement. The joint statement, coupled with the US declaring Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist, went miles ahead when it specifically wrote “cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups”. It was a clear indication of US’ toughening line on Pakistan on support of terror infrastructure in country.

And if we see more tough measures by the US on Pakistan in future, we should not be surprised. Ted Poe, an influential US Congressman and a Republican, has introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives to declare “Pakistan state sponsor of terrorism” citing its pro-terror activities like harbouring Osama bin Laden or many other terror groups. Ted Poe is the chairman of the important “House Subcommittee on Terrorism”.

This is not the first time that Ted Poe has brought a legislation for approval on declaring Pakistan a terror state. In September 2016, after the cowardly Uri attack by Pakistan based JeM terrorists on September 18 that killed 17 sleeping Indian soldiers, Ted Poe had introduced “the Pakistan State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act” calling Pakistan “an untrustworthy ally”. And it is not just Ted Poe. There are many other influential Congressmen and politicians who have been voicing to declare Pakistan a terror state or to curb down military aid to the country.

Add to it the well known hostility of Donald Trump, who is a Republican Party politician like Ted Poe, towards Pakistan and writing on the wall is becoming clear now. In Past, Trump has described Pakistan with terms like ‘Pakistan is not our friend’ and “when it will apologize for providing safe sanctuary to Osama Bin Laden”. In May, when, during his first Presidential foreign tour, Trump had named India as a terror victim along with China, Russia, Australia, European, African and South American countries, while ignoring any Pakistan mention altogether in his first overseas speech, it was a clear message that Pakistan was fast losing its credibility in Washington’s strategic circles.

In fact, in its ‘Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community’ report released in May, the US Government had blamed Pakistan for deteriorating India-Pakistan ties batting for India’s growing intolerance over Pakistan’s state-sponsored terrorism and in April, Gen HR McMaster, the US National Security Advisor, who was in Pakistan, had bluntly told Pakistan to stop using terror as state policy.

©SantoshChaubey

HAFIZ SAEED UNDER HOUSE ARREST AFTER US WARNING: PAKISTAN TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST JUD AND HAFIZ SAEED?

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is modified and extended.

Reports emerging from Pakistan says Hafiz Saeed is under house arrest in Lahore and the police is raiding his terror front Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) facilities, that operate under the garb of charity. In a video clip circulating in Pakistan’s social media circles, Hafiz Saeed can be seen ranting against India, the US with his favourite Kashmir rant. In the clip he says to his supporters that today’s developments will take him further to his goals.

Earlier in the day, a Dunya News report, quoting Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Interior, had said that Pakistan would tomorrow spell out the course of action it is going to take against Hafiz Saeed and JuD. Nisar said JuD which was declared a terrorist outfit by the US last year and was under observation in Pakistan since 2010. According to the Dunya News report, Pakistan is going to take action against Jamaat in line with the UN requirements. Now that Hafiz Saeed has put been under house arrest and a crackdown on JuD facilities is going on, let’s see what Pakistan comes with tomorrow.

In December 2008, UN Security Council, under its Resolution 1267, imposed sanctions on JuD and Hafiz Saeed for supporting Al Qaeda and Taliban. India had named Hafiz Saeed, LeT and JuD as the perpetrators of the series of terrorists attacks in Mumbai in November 2008. Since then it has been an unending drama of Hafiz Saeed being put under house arrest or detained cursorily before being set free even if the US declared a bounty of $10 million on his head in 2012.

Let alone Hafiz Saeed, all other names including Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the Mumbai attacks mastermind or Masood Azhar, the Pathakot airbase attack mastermind or many others on India’s most wanted list, alleged for perpetrating countless terror acts in India, are free and even respected names in Pakistan. When international pressure demands, Pakistan does the routine sham of shielding behind its judicial process that had set Hafiz Saeed free of all terrorism charges in 2009.

It is not the first time that reports from Pakistan on banning JuD have come out. This is a regular spectacle, as recent as November 2016. Every time Pakistan clarifies that JuD has not been banned and as per the UN requirements, is under observation.

But this time, the crackdown on JuD and Hafiz Saeed has come out after the US warning that Pakistan could be added to the list of the banned countries on the US immigration list. Donald Trump administration has put a ban on immigrants from seven Muslim majority nations that are ‘most identifiable with dangerous terrorism taking place in their country’ – Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Sudan. Reince Priebus, the White House Chief of Staff, has said that countries like Pakistan that are ‘having problems similar to those seven nations’, can be added to the list in future.

That may have set alarms bells ringing in Pakistan. Though Pakistan, a habitual offender, backstabber and master of doublespeak when it comes to using terror as a policy tool, cannot be trusted, even if its Interior Minister says that action on JuD was pending, a sense of panic can be seen when we see Hafiz Saeed’s Twitter feed and his video clip.

As Twitter doesn’t allow designated terrorists like Hafiz Saeed on its platform and blocks their Twitter accounts, they keep on changing their Twitter handles. @HMSaeedOfficial is one of the Twitter handles being used by Hafiz Saeed. Saeed tweeted today from this account, “We knew this would happen when we declared 2017 the year of #Kashmir. If I am arrested, millions will continue to raise voice for #Kashmir.”

@HMSaeedOfficial
We knew this would happen when we declared 2017 the year of #Kashmir. If I am arrested, millions will continue to raise voice for #Kashmir
If we are banned for raising voice for Kashmir, then we don’t care about any such ban or restrictions.
The recent reports of JuD Ban are due to Indian pressure. In case of any such ban, we will go to courts for justice

This can well be a strategy to garner support and pressurize the Pakistan’s government to prevent from taking any strong measure against the terror mastermind or can be, again, an elaborate sham in collusion with the Pakistan’s ruling establishment and the ISI to show the world that Pakistan, at last, is going to crackdown on terror, especially after the US warning of putting it on the immigration ban list. And if it is happening so now, it can well be the first in the series of sham crackdowns.

The first option looks more likely that Saeed may be made a scapegoat (remember the US bounty on Saeed) as Saeed initially deleted his tweet from @HMSaeedOfficial page. But after some hours, he again posted it along with other tweets that show his fear of being banned. Blaming India for reports on JuD ban, he wrote that If they were banned for raising voice for Kashmir, then they didn’t care about any such ban or restrictions and they would approach the court.

To add to Hafiz Saeed’s fear, Pakistan’s The News today published a report, which says that the US has clearly told Pakistan to act against JuD after JuD’s name prominently figured in the latest report of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering or else Pakistan would be put on the list of blacklisted countries in the International Cooperative Review Group (ICRG). That will make it necessary for Pakistan to put a formal request each time it goes about transacting any business through any of the international financial institutions.

This is an early January report, before Donald Trump’s took over as the US President and now that the most clear warning to Pakistan has come from Trump’s chief of staff, the writing looks clear on the wall for Pakistan. It is for Pakistan to decide which way it wants to go. Meanwhile, according the same The News report, Hafiz Saeed has adopted a new name for his outfit, Tehreek-e-Azadi-e-Kashmir.

©SantoshChaubey

MODI SAYS WALK AWAY FROM TERROR, NAWAZ SHARIF SHIELDS BEHIND K-RANT..AGAIN!

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified.

As expected, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has chosen not to answer Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demand that to resume dialogue with India, Pakistan must walk away from terror. Instead, he has picked the Kashmir rant again to blame India.

Nawaz Sharif is in Davos to attend the World Economic Forum. According to the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation’s Radio Pakistan report, Sharif, while talking to the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, said that Pakistan invited India for talks but India did not respond.

The report says that Nawaz Sharif said that resolution of all outstanding issues between Pakistan and India including the core issue of Kashmir is imperative for durable peace in South Asia. Exporting terror in Kashmir while continuing his double speak, Nawaz Sharif said that “peace in the region is in the best interest of the people of the region”.

While playing the victim Nawaz Sharif did not forget to polish his credentials by mentioning Indian violations of the Indus Water Treaty and that how India has been thwarting Pakistan’s sincere efforts ‘for durable peace in the region’, the foremost priority of his government. While he spoke of all outstanding issues including Kashmir, he did not mention terror and India’s only demand to resume dialogue with Pakistan.

While delivering the inaugural address of the 2nd Raisina Dialogue on January 17 in New Delhi, PM Modi said that if Pakistan wanted to resume dialogue with India, it must first renounce terrorism. Modi said, “Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India”.

While saying that a thriving well integrated neighbourhood was his dream, Modi said, “My vision for our neighbourhood puts premium on peaceful and harmonious ties with entire South Asia. That vision had led me to invite leaders of all SAARC nations, including Pakistan, for my swearing in. For this vision, I had also travelled to Lahore. But, India alone cannot walk the path of peace. It also has to be Pakistan’s journey to make. Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India.”

Prime Minister Modi’s unscheduled Lahore stopover in December 2015, while returning from Afghanistan, had left everyone stunned and his unilateral move to improve ties between the South Asian neighbours was appreciated globally.

This was his one of many initiatives to improve relations with a country that has behaved as India’s sworn enemy ever since its birth in 1947, beginning with Modi’s invitation to the South Asian leaders including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony on May 26, 2014.

But Pakistan, continuing its tradition of backstabbing India, gave Pathankot airbase attack and declared Hizbul terrorist Burhan Wani a martyr and fuelled and supported the latest round of unrest in Kashmir.

Pakistan’s actions forced India to put forward the condition that the future India-Pakistan dialogue will be on the issue of terror only. Pakistan, the main sponsor of terrorism in India, obviously could not have accepted it and chose to escape, shielding behind its Kashmir rant. It said it would not go for dialogue with India until Kashmir is on the table.

Raisina Dialogue is organized jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation (ORF). It is India’s geo-political conference and is aligned with India’s foreign policy priorities. Its second edition is being held in New Delhi from January 17 to 19. More than 250 global leaders from 65 nations are slated to speak at the conference which has ‘the New Normal -Multilateralism with Multi-Polarity’ as its theme this year.

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN’S DEFENCE MIN AT IT AGAIN: DARES INDIA TO CONDUCT A SURGICAL STRIKE

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit modified and extended.

Pakistan has done it again, with its senate and top political leadership bragging about their military might and how they would teach India a lesson that would make it ‘forget making claims of even a fake surgical strike’ in Pakistan.

According to a Radio Pakistan report, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khwaja said ‘if India tried to make any effort to carry out surgical strikes in future these will be responded with full force and they will forget to carry out even faked strikes in future.’

Pakistan’s senate today passed a resolution to condemn prime minister Narendra Modi’s statement where he called Pakistan ‘mother-ship of terrorism’ without naming it. During the BRICS Summit held in Goa in October 2016, Narendra Modi had said that ‘the most serious direct threat to our eco prosperity is terrorism; Tragically, its mother-ship is a country in India’s neighbourhood’. Condemning Pakistan for using terror as state policy, Modi had said that ‘this country shelters not just terrorists. It nurtures a mindset. A mindset that loudly proclaims that terrorism is justifiable for political gains.’

Passing anti-India resolutions in Pakistan’s senate is a regular scene and, it seems, is a favourite pastime, and during one such spectacle today, its defence minister, while terming India’s surgical strike in September 2016 as fake, said that India violated the ceasefire over 300 times last year in which 45 Pakistani civilians lost their lives. He went on to aggrandize his statement to the extent to say that ‘India was also involved in such violations with other neighbouring countries including Nepal and Bangladesh’.

The resolution said that the international community had rejected ‘baseless propaganda’ by India ‘attributing terrorism to Pakistan’ and ‘the statement made by the Indian Premier was an effort to divert the attention of the International Community from the Indian atrocities against the people of Occupied Kashmir’. Continuing Pakistan’s Kashmir rant, Khawaja Asif said that ‘Pakistan will continue political, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination’.

Khawaja Asif is speaking in a similar tone that he used to go with before India conducted its highly successful surgical strike deep inside Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir in September 2016 destroying many terror camps and killing dozens of terrorists. The surgical strike had left Pakistan shocked to the extent that its leaders initially didn’t know how to react on it and later on toed the Pakistan’s Army line of denying the surgical strike to save their face and humiliated bravado.

Before September’s surgical strike, the favourite line of Khawaja Asif happened to be that it will eliminate India with its tactical nuclear weapons if India tried to impose war on Pakistan.

After the Uri terror strike on September 18, 2016, that killed 19 of our soldiers, most of them sleeping, Pakistan had started feeling the heat as there was intense demand in India that the country should take some decisive, concrete against Pakistan this time. To handle this, and to thwart any serious response by the Indian establishment, (and buoyed by the past precedent, when India had hesitated to take any tough measure), the Pakistani ruling elite started blackmailing and threatening India with their so-called tactical or nuclear weapons.

The same Khawaja Asif, after the surgical strike on the intervening night of September 28-29, was stuttering while accepting that there was an aggression by India and ‘if India tries it again, Pakistan will give befitting reply’ (and not that ‘Pakistan will nuke and eliminate India), before toeing the line of Pakistan’s army. He had gone on to say even this that ‘India and Pakistan cannot take risk of a nuclear holocaust’.

Today’s development in the Pakistani senate seems more of a response to the Indian Army chief General Bipin Rawat’s warning that, if needed, India will conduct surgical strike again. Like the Uri attack had forced Pakistan to issue threats to India to thwart any counter move, General Rawat’s open warning this time might have forced the Pakistani ruling establishment to issue a veiled threat to India again.

But see what a successful surgical strike has done. The ‘befitting reply by the Pakistan’ had no mention of tactical, nuclear weapons this time.

©SantoshChaubey

PAKISTAN’S TERROR HAVENS DESTROYED? ITS ARMY CHIEF GEN BAJWA CLAIMS SO!

The article originally appeared on India Today. 

When it comes to lying in plain sight, no one can match Pakistani politicians and military officials and the sham this time have come from none other than its army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

According to a Radio Pakistan report, Bajwa called up Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani on Sunday to express solidarity with Afghanistan on its fight against terror and to condole the loss of lives in terror attacks. Claiming Afghanistan and Pakistan being ‘brotherly countries’, ‘he expressed sympathy with families of the victims and empathized on the tragic series of events that have befallen people of the both the countries over the last many years’, the report said.

The report quoting an official Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) release said that ‘Bajwa emphasized that Pakistan had come a long way in its fight against terrorism of all hue and colour and had eliminated all safe havens in the process’.

Now that is a claim that no one is going to buy including Afghanistan, a country that as recently as January 10 saw big terror attacks in Kabul, Helmand and Kandahar that killed dozens including the UAE Ambassador and four other UAE diplomats. Afghanistan blames Pakistan for continued terror attacks in the country and has raised the issue of Pakistan promoting terror in Afghanistan and harbouring terrorists in its backyard on every international platform. During the Heart of Asia Summit held at Amritsar in December, Ashraf Ghani had called for international intervention to check and stop cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.

While shedding crocodile tears, claiming it is the biggest terror victim, Pakistan uses terror as state policy very conveniently, exporting terror to India and other parts of the world and providing safe havens to dreaded terrorists from across the world, be it Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and its other members or Taliban and its chief Mullah Omar or the Haqqani network or India’s most wanted like Hafiz Saeed, Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim or even terrorists operating in China’s Xinjiang region. It all-weather ally China is reportedly going to seal its Xinjiang border with Pakistan to control terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

India, the biggest victim of Pakistan sponsored terror, has been voicing its demand to dismantle the terror infrastructure in Pakistan. There are many launch-pads and at least 17 terror camps in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir that keep on feeding the terror machinery active in India. The SAARC Summit to be held in Pakistan in November was cancelled after other nations of the South Asian grouping had refused to join the Summit blaming Pakistan’s continued use of terror as state policy.

The US has always blamed Pakistan for fomenting terror in Afghanistan and has blamed it for giving safe havens to terror outfits like Taliban factions, Al Qaeda, LeT and the Haqqani network. James Mattis, US President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for his Defence Secretary, has warned Pakistan ‘to expel or neutralise externally-focused militant groups that operate within its borders’. In October last year, in its first ever public warning, the US had said it will go alone in destroying terror networks operating from Pakistan if Pakistan couldn’t do that and had named its all powerful spy agency ISI for actively colluding with the terror groups.

Yet, Pakistan keeps on ranting, shamelessly, that it has destroyed all terror safe havens and has no terror elements acting and spreading terror from its soil, as General Bajwa has done again.

©SantoshChaubey

BURNING SCHOOLS IN KASHMIR: WHERE IT IS AIMED AT?

The ongoing Kashmir crisis is in its 109th day. And by the attitude of the Indian government, it has become clear that it is not going to budge when it comes to the demands of the so-called freedom of Kashmir, something that is nothing but Pakistan sponsored militancy and propaganda to snatch Kashmir from India.

Now, the whole world, including Pakistan knows that it is not going to happen. But Pakistan would always want to inflict as much damage as it can, and it has found handy tools in Kashmir’s separatists, pro-Pakistani civilians and terrorists to exercise its sinister designs.

All these tools, in coordination, or in isolation, try to perpetrate acts that could compromise the Indian sentiments in Kashmir.

An important part of that militancy and propaganda is to drag Kashmir’s every upcoming generation away from everything that can propel it to think rationally about where its future lies. And a rational mind can never go with Pakistan, a fractured nation with an increasing notoriety of being a rogue nation that employs terrorism as its state policy.

So, the whole emphasis would be on killing this rationality.

The phase of insurgency that began in Kashmir in late 1980s has consumed a generation of Kashmiris. Post 2000, there have been attempts and development has seen some growth, including tourism, the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy. Excluding few instances, there has been an atmosphere of relative peace, even if gun sponsored.

To continue..

©SantoshChaubey

NSA TALKS CANCELLED: POLITICAL ESTABLISHMENT OF PAKISTAN IS FURTHER WEAKENED

What happened to the proposed talks between the National Security Advisors of India and Pakistan was not a surprise.

In fact, it was only waiting to happen because Pakistan was not in a position to dictate terms of the talks. And at the same time, it could not send home the message that it bowed before India by agreeing to an agenda that didn’t include talks on Jammu and Kashmir.

Given the stated position of this government, the Narendra Modi led National Democratic Alliance government, we have reasons to believe J&K cannot be on any agenda of talks where different factions of All Party Hurriyat Conference are invited by Pakistan as the third party – at least till Narendra Modi is the prime minister of India.

India, as the doctrine goes, doesn’t consider J&K a disputed territory and the present government has been, ever since its inaugural, particularly emphatic about expressing it.

The bilateral talks between India and Pakistan were broken in August 2014 when India had cancelled Foreign Secretary level talks on issue of Pakistan being adamant on talking to Hurriyat leaders.

So, obviously, if Pakistan was serious about talks, if it had accepted to go ahead with ‘now cancelled’ NSAs meeting, it had to keep in mind that why the talks last year were cancelled in the first place.

For the BJP, political analysis in India (and Pakistan) was growing more and more vocal about the possible stand taken by the NDA government after Pakistan invited Hurriyat leaders for talks even this time.

When a round of talk was killed last year on same issue, why to reintroduce that element again?

Because, either Pakistan wanted to kill the talks again – with its inborn compulsions to run away from words of logic and geopolitical pragmatism – or – it wanted to send home a message (to its Army) that it was dealing with India on its own terms – and so was a dominant negotiating partner – in case if India accepted Hurriyat as a party in negotiations – that meant Kashmir was on the agenda – something that India had refused from the day one – since Ufa.

India was never going to accept these terms, even if it didn’t set any precondition other that those agreed at Ufa – reflected by the joint statement of both countries.

Pakistan’s political leadership, under international pressure, most importantly from the US, willingly or unwillingly, agreed to restart the talks and India took a leading step here by inviting Pakistan.

But Pakistan tried to exploit even this move by propagandizing that ‘India was compelled to come to the talking table’ – and that Pakistan did not blink first.

Now, we know, the world community knows, and even many in Pakistan, including its military and political leadership know, that Pakistan is no match for India. India has moved much ahead and is a global economic powerhouse now. Its scientific and defence prowess are years ahead than Pakistan.

Pakistan, therefore, cannot set terms, other than agreed, while negotiating with India. That reflected in Sartaj Aziz’s presser where he clarified that he was visiting India for the talks even if he was not hopeful of any outcome.

Pakistan’s problem – primarily of its military establishment – and therefore of its political establishment – is – that its foreign policy has been India centric ever since the country came into existence in 1947.

And the cancelled NSA talks show nothing has changed on that front – even now.

In fact, India was always in a different, positive league than Pakistan. But we, politically, mismanaged the whole affair, with every subsequent government giving Pakistan legroom to exercise and promote its propaganda voices on different global platforms. We allowed Pakistan to even outmanoeuvre us on many times.

But, it had to end somewhere. And the process has begun – even if the realization has come very late.

India, like China, is imperative for global economy now. Yes, Pakistan, too, is a nuclear power, but its security establishment is far superior, innovative and indigenous and is accustomed to work under a democratic leadership.

India is asserting its rightful position on the global stage now and the world is taking note of it. India’s neighbours (excluding China and Pakistan) see India now as a senior partner that gives them due bilateral importance.

The problem with Pakistan’s political leadership is – it cannot say no even to the Hurriyat leadership – we all remember the serious note taken by Pakistan after Nawaz Sharif didn’t meet them during his India visit last year in May 2014 or when Ufa statement didn’t mention Kashmir this year – then how can it stand before Pakistan’s military – the institution that wields real power there?

Pakistan’s Army didn’t want these talks to happen, as evident by escalation in incidents of ceasefire violation by Pakistan after the Ufa meeting. And the talks ultimately, expectedly, didn’t happen.

It has further weakened the political establishment in Pakistan.

Hurriyat has no significance for India. The party with its different factions doesn’t matter even in Jammu and Kashmir’s politics. Jammu and Kashmir has elected government and people’s participation, over the years, in the electoral process, has increased quite impressively, in spite of the continued run of cross-border terrorism by Pakistan, trying to incite separatist voices.

Hurriyat, in fact, is a ploy by Pakistan’s Army to keep another of its anti-India ploy running – the anti-India rhetoric based on Kashmir – an eternal lifeline ‘sort of thing’ for Pakistan’s Army.

And Pakistan’s political establishment, irrespective of the realpolitik, is forced to follow whims of this ploy.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

CEASEFIRE VIOLATIONS: IT WILL ULTIMATELY HARM PAK ARMY

Yesterday, India had called Pakistan’s High Commissioner to lodge ‘strong’ protest on ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir that caused six civilian deaths on the day.

Naturally, expectedly, Pakistan had to reply in the same diplomatic language and today, it called India’s Deputy High Commissioner to lodge its ‘strong’ protest.

And nothing is going to move except these diplomatic gestures, like the cases have been between India and Pakistan where India has been patiently calling Pakistan to take action against anti-India activities from its soil, like the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 or like Dawood Ibrahim having a safe haven in Pakistan. And these are not isolated examples.

Pakistan has never taken these demands seriously. Because its rulers derive their sanctity from their anti-India rhetoric.

Pakistan being an Army ruled country for most of its independent history has historically been anti-India, fighting and losing wars since 1948. Pakistan’s Army, in order to remain the most powerful institution in the country, has always resorted to anti-India propaganda to suppress and sideline political voices. The violence in the aftermath of the India-Pakistan partition gave Army a powerful tool to instil fear in Pakistani masses by name-calling India.

And Pakistan’s political establishment, including its political parties, that was dependent on Pakistan’s Army for its public life, just followed the suit, willingly or unwillingly.

So, even if Pakistan tries to sound moving ahead politically on its various issues with India, its military does the otherwise, following its own agenda, that is Pakistan’s main agenda irrespective of what Mr. Nawaz Sharif thinks and irrespective of what his ministers convey.

Any event of political ramification, including India-Pakistan dialogue, has been held hostage to this narrowcasting of interests by the omnipotent (in Pakistan) Pakistan’s Army – including the India-Pakistan Joint Statement at Ufa last month.

People of Pakistan are not inherently India haters or bashers – success of India’s cultural products, especially movies, shows. A report in The Express Tribune today carried an analytical peace on how Akshay Kumar’s ‘Brothers’ has won over the box office in Pakistan and how ‘it has dealt a blow to the Pakistani movie releases of the week’. And ‘Brothers’ is not the first case.

Also, in India, people are running a campaign to raise Rs. 10 Lakh for treatment of a girl from Karachi in a Mumbai hospital.

Political process and India-Pakistan dialogues are inimical to the Pakistan Army’s interest (and to the political class that survives and thrives on Pakistan’s Army) because it will lead to an increased people to people movement between two countries who shared a common land till 1947. The patch of the land is still the same and so are the cultural elements.

An increasing pro-India sentiment, that can gradually happen with normal bilateral ties and increased cultural exchanges, will weaken Pakistan’s Army as people there would legitimately be questioning its dominance in the public sphere – a bane for any democracy. Army there would never want it to happen.

So, diplomatic protests, thought different means, will continue. And along with them Pakistan’s proxy war in India – with ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

What is inimical to the long-term interests of Pakistan’s Army is that India now has started replying to Pakistan in its Pakistan’s own language – inflicting heavy damages something that Pakistan’s Army and media cannot report.

And as Pakistan is no match to India – and as India is poised to become a global power from a regional player – and as Pakistan’s Army cannot engage India in a direct fight – or cannot harm India’s interests strategically – as India’s defence capabilities are superior than Pakistan – and as Pakistan cannot do more than standalone terror strikes and ceasefire violations – the Pakistan Army is bound to suffer losses in the days to come.

And it has already begun.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/